Family takes young girl off life support who became brain dead after tonsil removal surgery

By Funke Oyelade,

Imagine going in for tonsil surgery and coming out brain dead. Unfortunately, for one young girl, that has become her reality.

Jahi McMath, 13, went to Oakland Children’s Hospital for tonsil removal to help with her sleep apnea, reported The Huffington Post.

The surgery took place on Monday, Dec. 9 and appeared to be a success, but three days later, the 13-year-old went into cardiac arrest and was taken to the hospital. Although the doctors were able to resuscitate her, she was legally declared brain dead.

The McMath family blames the hospital for the lack of urgency in treating the girl when brought to the hospital.

“There was a lack of urgency. It’s shock, it's disbelief. You never think something like this will happen to you,” McMath’s uncle Omari Sealey said.

While an investigating is ongoing to determine what went wrong, Jahi has been kept on life support. However the family has been pressured by the hospital to take her off of life support. CNN reported that the family did not want to take the teen off of life support because they believe she will come around.

Her mother, Nailah Winkfield, told Piers Morgan that she is holding out hope. "I don't want her off life support because I really feel like she can wake up," she said. "I feel like it's just been a rough week for her and, if they just give her some more time, then she'll be able to wake up."

The family sent a cease-and-desist letter to the hospital to stop them from taking her off a ventilator.

KTVU, which first reported the story, has reported the family decided to take the teen off life support, despite not wanting to.

“We didn't want her to be removed from life support but the decision is out of our hands because it's been declared a legal death,” McMath’s uncle said.


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